KIMBALL, WV (WVNS) — 5/15/2020 1:40 p.m. UPDATE: A food bank can now further serve its community, thanks to a generous donation.
Last month, Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Bank in Kimball was in desperate need of shopping carts, which hold and deliver food and essentials for the people they serve.
On May 8, the nonprofit received 60 shopping carts from Meridian Bird Removal in Christiansburg, Virginia, whose president, a close partner of the food bank, heard their call for help and did not hesitate to answer it.
Food bank Director, Linda McKinney, was beyond grateful.
“The carts are… a godsend that we can double up on the individuals,” McKinney said. “It’s very difficult to load all these carts and get all these volunteers in here.”
McKinney said with the extra carts, more people will be served immediately without having to wait.
KIMBALL, WV (WVNS) — 4/16/2020 9:20 a.m. ORIGINAL STORY: Food banks across the country are pacing to keep up with the increased demands for food and essentials from people whose livelihoods were impacted by the pandemic.
For Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Bank in McDowell County, Director Linda McKinney said the amount of people in need coming to them increased from about 100 to more than 1,000.
“We are always prepared. We never get lax,” McKinney said. “We just take each need one at a time… and that’s all you can do.”
For safety and sanitary reasons, the food bank is operating by appointment only and not allowing any additional volunteers to help. People in need are also required to stay in their cars, take a number, and wait until they are called, two at a time, with adequate social distancing.
“They’re totally separated,” McKinney said. “It’s about 12, 15 feet apart.”
With the help of Operation Blessing and World Vision, the food bank has no shortage of food or essential supplies, including diapers, cleaning products, and feminine hygiene products. However, McKinney said they are in desperate need of shopping carts, which are packed with necessities, then separated, and if touched, sterilized.
“It’s a very long, tedious job,” McKinney said. “Getting the people served, getting the cart sterilized, then bringing them in, and then starting all over again.”
McKinney is asking for 50 to 100 shopping carts from any store owner willing to donate. Since they cannot travel, the food bank has a loading dock and two forklifts to accommodate any truck, so in turn, they can deliver relief to families.